Legendary swimmer Michael Phelps might have 28 Olympic medals to his name, but is he faster than a great white shark? That’s what he’s setting to find out on Sunday, July 23. In a race titled “Phelps vs. Shark: The Battle for Ocean Supremacy,” the legendary athlete will go head to head with a great white as part of Discovery’s Shark Week.
Phelps has amassed both fame and fortune over the course of his career, with an established reputation for besting any opponent in the pool. Learn more about the most decorated athlete in Olympic history as he gears up to take on the ocean’s most formidable foe.
Michael Phelps Net Worth: $55 Million
The freestyle has proven lucrative for Phelps … that and the butterfly, backstroke and breaststroke. With a career spanning 16 years, Phelps’ net worth is $55 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
His talent in the water has earned him millions, but rising to elite status comes with a hefty price tag. Top swimmers might earn prize money at races throughout the year, but they’re still faced with lofty training expenses.
Bloomberg estimated the annual cost of a swim club membership ranges from $1,500 to $3,000, equipment runs $500 per year and traveling to swim meets three or four times per year can total $4,000 to $5,000 per trip — in addition to other probable expenses, such as physical therapy and sports psychology.
The 32-year-old made his first Olympic appearance at the Sydney Summer Games in 2000, but did not medal. In total, Phelps has swam in five Olympics.
Phelps was named one of the team captains of the U.S. Olympic swim team for the Rio Games in 2016. Despite his many gold medals and records, Rio was the first Olympics where he was a team captain.
Michael Phelps Celebrates Personal Milestones
Phelps and his wife, 32-year-old Nicole Johnson, were first secretly married in an intimate ceremony in June of 2016 — right before the Olympics — then the couple had a big beach wedding in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico in October that same year. The couple also has a 1-year-old son, Boomer Robert Phelps.
In 2015, Phelps purchased a $2.5 million home in Paradise Valley, Ariz. so he could train for the Olympics with USA Swimming and Arizona State University Head Coach Bob Bowman. The home is 6,010 square feet with five bedrooms, 6.5 baths and poolside views of the desert mountains.
Michael Phelps Endorsements and Sponsorships
Phelps’ Olympic hardware over the years has landed him major corporate sponsors. Brands the swimmer represents or has in the past include:
- Under Armor
- Radio Shack
- Call of Duty
- Head & Shoulders
Phelps also posed for Wheaties, Corn Flakes and even Louis Vuitton. More recently, he’s promoted KRAVE Jerky on Instagram and has a partnership with Aqua Sphere, a swimming equipment manufacturer he’s partnered with to launch the MP brand.
After Phelps won his eighth Olympic gold medal in 2008, he reportedly earned a $1 million bonus from then-sponsor Speedo. He put that bonus toward the Michael Phelps Foundation, which offers water-safety courses and swim training, according to an interview he did on “TODAY.”
Phelps announced that the 2016 Rio Olympics would be his last. He has current plans to mold young swimmers as a volunteer assistant coach at ASU, but fans hope he’ll surprise everyone with a comeback in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. After all, he might want to make his medal count an even 30.
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Laura Woods contributed to the reporting for this article.